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Season 4 In-Depth Overview

  

Pour me a Draft and Clasp me in Irons

Season 4 Revealed!

 

Heroes,

 

Season 4 is here, and with it the advent of brand new game modes, updates, changes, and more. We have a TON of features to explain, expand, and extrapolate on, so get comfortable for a long read! We’re here to shed Light on the remaining Shadows: Welcome to the Season 4 in-depth overview!

 

    Quickguide:

  1. Draft Mode

    1. The Basics of Draft Mode

    2. Improved Level 1 Drafting

    3. 1AE Abilities Normalized

    4. The Power to Choose

    5. Ace of Talents

    6. Skill Cards

  2. Ironman Mode

    1. Overview of Ironman Mode

    2. Specifics of Ironman Mode

      1. PvP

      2. Ending your Quest

      3. The Death of a Hero

      4. Survivalist Mode

  3. General Features and Improvements

    1. Returning Features
      Crafting Quests

    2. High-Risk Improvements

      1. Badge of the Treasure Hunter

      2. Tier Set Locations

      3. Kill Announcements

      4. Neutral Towns

    3. Rotating Honorable Zones

    4. Ability Logging

    5. Season Rewards for Hitting 60

  4. Season 3 and Wildcard Mode

    1. Shadowsong

    2. Character Transfers to Legacy



Draft Mode

 

  • Draft Mode Basics: Build your deck by selecting one of 3 random Skill Cards each time you would normally receive an ability.

  • Improved Level 1 Drafting: Players are now more likely to draft pre-requisite abilities like Bear form as their first spell, increasing their odds of getting reliant spells like Swipe purely to facilitiate tanks and healers for leveling and end-game addressing a lack of tanks and healers in S3. You won’t get automatic synergy for windfury.

  • 1AE Abilities Normalized: All heroes will now reach level 60 with the same total number of 1AE abilities.

  • Skill Cards: Obtain Skill Cards at level 60 that guarantee a new character you level will obtain ONE specific spell.

  • The Power to Choose: Players will always reach level 60 with 5AE stored up to spend on talents any way they wish.

  • Acet of Talents: The Ace of Talents will allow players to unlearn all 5AE they spent on talent abilities at level 60 and enable them to rechoose. 

 

The Basics of Draft Mode

 

Draft Mode is a brand new playstyle coming in Season 4--unlike Wildcard mode where spells and abilities are obtained at random, Draft Mode allows players to build their own deck by choosing Skill Cards to craft their Hero. Each time you would normally receive an ability, you’ll instead draw 3 Skill Cards--cards that represent a specific spell or ability. These cards are drawn randomly, and you’ll be able to choose ONE of them to add permanently to your deck--gaining that ability. 

 

Over the course of your adventure you’ll draft an entire Hero, and the abilities you choose along the way will be your weapons to tackle end-game content. Whether dungeons or raids, battlegrounds or high risk, your Draft Hero will act as your avatar as you face off against Azeroth’s challenges.

 

 

Improved Level 1 Drafting


Beginning at level one, you’ll draft your Hero’s first four spells and abilities. These are crucial towards shaping the development of your champion, and should be chosen with care. Luckily, we’ve made some adjustments to how the Draft works at level 1 to assist players in becoming the Hero they’d like to be.

 

By drafting a particular spell as your first spell, the likelihood that the spells that follow will be relevant or similar is higher than it otherwise would be. As an example, if a character were to Draft “Taunt” at level 1, the likelihood that they would see “Defensive Stance” within their following three level 1 abilities would be higher. Similarly, choosing “Bear Form” as your first spell yields a higher chance to see “Swipe”.

 

This mechanic does not apply in later levels, so rest assured that the random and challenge aspect of Draft Mode has not been done away with. This is mainly for facilitating bare necessities for tanks and healers Players will still need to believe in the heart of the car--the luck of the draw to see their desired abilities manifest.

 

1AE Abilities Normalized

 

Heroes can look forward to a little less RNG in a good way with normalized single AE abilities. During Season 4, all heroes will pull the same number of 1AE abilities throughout the leveling process. This ensures that certain Heroes are not rendered useless by a chain of bad luck forcing them to choose multiple single AE abilities. We have also adjusted tracking spells to now only cost 1AE, meaning players will be more likely to draft 1AE spells that fit with their deck.

 

With the change to how 1AE abilities are drafted, combo finishers have been adjusted to now cost 2AE, so you will have more chances to draw the combo finisher they are looking for.

 

Skill Cards

 

Skill Cards are an essential feature of Draft Mode, and one worth understanding. There are two types of skill cards: Skill Cards and Named Skill Cards.

 

Skill Cards are the cards you pick every time you have enough Ability Essences to do so. These cards are drawn automatically from your deck as you level, and the card you choose is the skill added to your deck. You’ll have many choices to make while you level, so choose wisely.

 

 

Named Skill Cards are cards that have fallen from the deck and become items. You can acquire these items throughout Season 4. They represent a single, individual skill, and are account bound. By mailing a Named Skill Card to a level 1 character on your account, that character can slip the card into their deck, guaranteeing that they will draw it at the earliest level you can obtain that spell. A level one character can only ever utilize one Named Skill Card, so choose your trump card carefully.

 



The Power to Choose

 

Everyone will reach level cap with 5 Ability Essence stored to spend on Talent Abilities. Whether you decide on a pair of 2AE abilities, or a combination of one 2AE and one 3AE talent ability is up to you.

 

    The Ace of Talents

 

Speaking of choosing, the Scroll of Choosing is seeing early retirement, finding a replacement in the Ace of Talents. An upgraded version of the Scroll of Choosing, the Ace of Talents will refund you 5AE at level 60, allowing them to re-pick 2AE and 3AE talents abilities.Unlike the Scroll, the Ace will unlearn any talent ability you may have chosen, whether that’s a 2AE or 3AE skill. Additionally, everyone will hit level 60 with 5AE to spare, meaning they can spend their Essences on any talent ability they wish to put the final touches on their Deck.  

 

   

 

Ironman Mode

 

 

  • Ironman Mode is a solo perma-death challenge.

  • No access to trading, grouping, mail, auction house, ect. You are on your own.

  • High-Risk Ironman: Only other Ironmen can engage you in 1v1 combat.

  • Low-Risk Ironman: You are safe from PvP from all other players.

  • The Death of a Hero: You can convert a dead Ironman character to a non-Ironman character with a special item earned in-game.

  • Survivalist Mode: is a group perma-death challenge, allowing you to group with other Survivalists.

 

    Overview

 

Making its debut at the start of Season 4 is Ironman Mode: a challenging game mode that pits heroes against the environment. At a glance, this playstyle will disable all amenities that players are used to, such as mail, groups, the auction house, EXP potions, Recruit a Friend, Donation Items, Collections, etc, forcing players to risk life and limb as they struggle to achieve level 60 on their own. Additionally, those who attempt to climb this mountain must do so with a single life: Ironmen, if slain, are dead.

 

Here’s the rundown:

 

Players can elect to become Ironmen at level 1 by speaking to a ‘friendly’ fellow eyeing you in the starting zone. Should you decide to accept his challenge, you’ll be locked into Iron Mode, forfeiting the aforementioned amenities, and accepting a life of solitude. 

 

 

From there, the challenge is on. You have one life to live, and if you die, its over. Your mission is to make it to 60 alive while competing on the Leaderboards available on the Ascension Website. If you succeed, you’ll receive rewards. If you fail, all that awaits you is cold, permanent death.

 

Player Versus Player

 

Players brave enough to tackle Ironman mode on High-Risk will be able to kill, and be killed, only by other Ironmen. That means a non-Ironman player would not be able to engage and kill an Ironman player. Staying in theme with the solo challenge, Ironman players will only be able to engage in 1v1 combat with other Ironman players. No need to worry about someone’s friend coming to their rescue in Stranglethorn Vale, but neither can anyone come to your rescue.

 

Ironman Players in Low-Risk will be safe from PvP. If you want to take on the Ironman challenge without the risk of another player ending your journey early, you can avoid PvP altogether by choosing Low-Risk.

 

An announcement will ring out on occasion heralding the leading Ironman.

 

 

Any Ironman over level 20 who meets their end will have their death mourned in World Chat. Or celebrated--World Chat is funny like that.

 




Finally, if you do die as an Ironman, your fate is sealed. Fallen Ironmen become a permanent ghost, forced to wander the world as a spectre with only other lost Ironmen to mourn you.

 

There is one way to return to life: though only partially. Accumulate enough Resurrection Stones along your journey, and you can use them to resurrect your Hero into a Non-Ironman character. Your character will live, but their Ironman challenge is forever ended, and you lose any chance at the rewards for completing it. 

 

 

Thus is the way of the Ironman.

 

At level 60, the path opens for you. Ironmen who successfully complete the challenge can opt to exit the mode, keeping their hero, casting down the mantle, and becoming a Non-Ironman. Doing so allows you to keep the rewards you receive, and is an excellent way to end your Iron Journey.

 

However, Heroes who are skilled enough may choose to keep Ironman at 60, activating both High Risk and PvP, and allowing them to continue their single-life mission. Only the truly brave, or truly mad, will elect to keep Ironman active at 60--and time will tell if their decision was one of courage, or folly.

 

As a final note, look forward to a Survivalist mode coming as well, which will allow Ironment to team up with others in their mode to tackle dungeons and raids--risking permanent death for a chance at the spoils of war. Don’t pull the boss too early.

 

Rewards await Ironmen who reach 60. At minimum, a metallic mount monumenting your mastery a Title are on the Horizon.

 

General Features and Improvements

 

  • Returning Systems: Outlaw System, Hybrid Risk, Cross-Faction, Non-Soulbound Items

  • 350+ Crafting Quests have been added to the Callboard rotation.

  • High-Risk Improvements

    • Players can now see what type of loot they are able to find in the world through the Treasure Hunter Buff.

    • Certain locations will now have a higher chance to drop specific tier items.

    • Kill Announcements will now be broadcast zone wide to let players know exactly where the action is.

    • All players, including outlaws, will be de-flagged when entering a neutral town.

    • Crow’s Cache Overhaul in development

  • 1v1 Honorable Combat Zones will now rotate.

  • Season Rewards for Hitting 60



Returning Features

 

The Outlaw System and the Hybrid-Risk system will both be making a return in Season 4, allowing players to snag gear out in the open world in High Risk, or preserve the riches they’ve acquired in No Risk. Players who express Criminal Intent will find themselves branded an Outlaw, exiled from their capital cities and banished to Booty Bay. Meanwhile, players who defend the innocent will gain reputation with The Law, and be lauded as Protectors--marking them safe and trustworthy in an otherwise unforgiving world..

 

Additionally, Cross-Faction will be making a return in Season 4, as well as Non-Soulbound Items. Cross-Faction applies to parties, dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, and of course the Auction House. 

 

    Crafting Quests

 

Many an adventurer would cheer to put down their sword and pick up a hammer--rest their weary legs and sew a stately robe instead. Heroes are a complex lot, yearning for more than just rampant slaughter--although they like that a lot. But where’s the reward in being an excellent cook, or crafting the finest dagger in the land?

Why, it’s right on the Call Board!


Over 350 new Crafting Quests have been added to the Hero’s Call and Warchief’s Command quests, allowing heroes who prefer letting their profession do the talking to aid themselves and others with their mastery of the craft! Rewards await you, so now more than ever, we hope people finally appreciate your cooking!

 

High Risk World Improvements:

 

New improvements to High-Risk await you in Season 4, heroes. Four new additions ensure that your quest into the dangers of the open world won’t be in vain.


First, the badge of the Treasure Hunter: this handy little icon will let you see exactly what kind of loot you can expect to find off of monsters you slay in the open world. No more guessing or stressing over what you might find. The Treasure Hunter icon will show you exactly what you want to know.


With the Treasure Hunter icon, players need no longer stress over whether or not it’s worth venturing into High Risk. You’ll know exactly the type of loot you can expect to find, and can gauge for yourself whether or not the reward might be worth the risk. If you decide it is, you might be interested in our new Tier Areas.

 

Tier Areas are locations out in the world where tier gear is more likely to drop. If you hunt there, expect to see pieces of your favorite sets more often than other pieces of gear. Good luck treasure hunting!

 

Thirdly: Kill Announcements: These handy-dandy notifications are just what you need to avoid or confront danger, make a name for yourself, and let the world know where you are.

 

Kill Announcements are notifications that ring out if a player is murdered. If a Hero is slain in the open world, the entire Zone receives an announcement stating the name of the murderer, and where the crime took place. In this way, you can spot danger from a mile away, and choose to confront it, run from it, or prepare for it. Those who commit murder are recognized for their crimes, and those seeking to prevent murders know exactly where their help is needed. Get ready for the game of cat and mouse!

 

Lastly: We saw a lot of people engaging in PvP in neutral cities on Season Three, and we want to create World PvP, not Town PvP. Heroes, even Outlaws, need a place to recover and restock before getting back into the fight. Players will now be deflagged for PvP upon entering a neutral city even if they are an outlaw. If you do find yourself wanting some urban combat, you can always flag yourself.

 

Season 3 and Wildcard Mode

 

With the launch of Season 4, Shadowsong will remain active as a home for Wildcard players. As Season 4 begins, single character transfers will also open on Shadowsong for players who want their Wildcard Heroes moved to the Legacy Realms. Once on our Legacy Realms, the restrictions of Wildcard vanish, allowing players to experience the full breadth of character creation that is Ascension’s classic Classless system. Choose any ability, master any talent, and forge your unique Hero.

 

However, for those of you who prefer Wildcard Mode, Shadowsong will remain open for the time being as Wildcard-only, allowing you to continue your adventure.

 

And that, heroes, concludes the overview of Season 4. We hope you’re ready for the start of an amazing season. Season 4 begins Friday, July 26th, at 18:00 server time. We’ll see you at the starting line.

 

 

 

 

 

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